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Turn off power to gas water heater

Can you turn power off to gas water heater that is connected to 120 volt?

Turn off 120 volt to gas water heater

gas meter on gas water heater Install meter on Gas water heater
Record exact usage of BTU of gas appliances.
3/4" pipe thread connections. Use yellow teflon tape or gas-approved sealant.
No excess tape or sealant inside pipe. Use black pipe or yellow flex line. Keep pipes clean during assembly.
Install in vertical position with inlets pointing up as illustrated.
12.2" Tall x 8.5" Wide x 11.2" Deep
No power source required
Digital readout in cubic feet
Remote Readable option (pulse output) using EKM-25IDS

Buy:
EKM gas meter
Approved gas pipe sealant
Yellow gas line

EKM gas meter
Resources
Gas meter spec sheet with optional remote monitor specs
Gas water heater timer
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Gas water heater timer

Integrate with your home-automation module, zwave, wifi, insteon.
Or use daily or weekly plug-in timer to set schedule.
Gas water heater timer adjusts dial on gas control valve, rotating between ordinary thermostat setting and 'vacation' setting.
The water heater is never completely off, so there is no short-cycling issue when operation resumes, plus vacation mode at 50 prevents water heater from freezing.
No-tool installation. Works with older style mechanical thermostats, and newer Honeywell thermostat, fitting both propane and natural gas heaters.

Buy
Gas water heater timer at American Pacific
$5 coupon code GENO

Resource:
Gas water heater timer
Many gas water heaters are connected to 120 volt outlet.
Generally the requirement is a dedicated outlet with correct polarity and grounding that serves no other outlet or appliance and is located within 10 feet of water heater.
If outlet is not grounded, the water heater gas control valve might not function as expected.
Noah asks:
I am interested in turning off a gas water heater when not used for extended periods of time. your website shows a product that will rotate the temperature control knob to vacation mode and to the desired set temperature according to a predetermined schedule. See gas water heater timer

HOWEVER,  why not just use a conventional electric outlet timer to switch power to the gas water heater control unit? I have seen modern gas water heaters that are powered by plugging into a conventional 120v outlet.

My concern is what kind of potential stress/damage might happen if this was done? for example, one never turns off their computer by unplugging from the wall outlet because this would eventually mess up the IC chips and electronics with voltage spikes, transients, etc. if a modern gas water heater also has a computer, would cycling its power on and off from its plug (rather than its own on/off switch) also cause the same harm?
Using extension cord to connect water heater to outlet will void product warranty..... Why? Because it is an unreliable electrical connection.
This is the only hint than product manual specifically mentions for power connection.

Gene's Answer:
Over time, this might reduce the lifespan of gas control valve, however no product manual specifically mentions power outage as a problem.
The gas water heater timer fits all gas water heater valves of the older mechanical type. It will fit certain models of the newer electronic gas control valves. See gas water heater timer
The timer does not cut power, it just rotates the gas control temperature knob, and adjusts from vacation 50F to normal temperature setting.
If you connect ordinary timer that turns off electricity to water heater, you would be causing a power outage... when power resumes, it would expose water heater control to a possible surge... and it would be like a hard shutdown on the computer ... but your computer works fine after reloading ... and in fact a hard shutdown is the preferred troubleshooting step for freezes and other anomalies.
Wall outlet surge protector
Electronic gas water heaters are not protected from surge.
Simple power outage can cause surge that will damage or burn out gas control valve etc.
Install surge protection outlet. This is called a Type 3 device.
A line can have as multiple surge protection devices. So main box can have surge, plus additional surge on outlet. Why add more surge protection? Generally the farther away the surge protector, the less protection... because surge from nearby lightning can energize any point on the wire.
Buy:
15 amp surge suppressor receptacle
Leviton J-box surge protection kit
15 amp duplex surge protector
20 amp commercial surge protector
Resources
Surge protection sell sheet
Outlet surge suppression manual
Surge protection outlet manual
How to install gas water heater
How to wire whole house surge protector
Outlet polarity Buy:
Outlet tester
Outlet polarity If gas water heater is short-cycling or having problems, check outlet polarity

Buy:
Outlet tester
Gas control valve:
Buy
Example Honeywell gas control valve at Amazon
Reliance NG at Amazon
Replacement instructions
How to replace water heater gas valve


Resources:
Adjust temperature/ error codes on Honeywell
Range 90 to 156, Hot is 120 F // Very Hot 156, ECO limit 199 F

Troubleshoot resources
Gas water heater timer
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Buy: Gas water heater timer at American Pacific
Enter coupon code: GENO to save $5

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